I was talking with one of my assistants this last week about how rude people can be when they tell you one thing, but do something completely different. We hate when that is done to us. If your job has anything to do with sales, you know exactly what I mean. If you own a restaurant, you know how no shows for reservations can literally kill your business. If you sell widgets, you have to deal with everything from missed appointments to people who say they’ll buy (but never do), to even those who buy but never pay.
It happens in our personal lives too. Have you ever had a workout partner who always shows up late, cutting off the length of your workout… or who never shows at all? What about that guy who promised he would call after the first date? Are you a parent who got sucked in to buying a pet, which your child promised they would help take care of?
Every once in a while, I’ll hit a string of no shows, non-payers and out and out liars all contact my business… like all in the same month or even week. Ugh. What a perfect distraction for your goals, and even day to day tasks which need to take place. I end up cutting out on family dinners to make sure I meet a person who “needs” my services. I’ll make exceptions for those who are on hard times, and kick their payments back, only to find they don’t have the money next month either.
It sucks the life out of you.
Then, one day I caught myself on the phone talking to a TV commercial salesmen who was trying to book me for a simple meeting to talk about some advertising options. At the time, I didn’t have the time, money or even interest to take any part of his services. However, I found myself telling him I’ll be at an expo his station was running to explain the different ad options business’ had.
Here is the point, we all do it, some more than others. For those who do it a lot, simply assume their life is not a good one. If you assume you’re the person who does it, but very infrequently, you probably do it more than you think (I do). Just catch yourself and stop doing it. Does it take some discipline and awareness? Yes. Might you have to tell people “no”? Yep. Is it sometimes uncomfortable? Absolutely. Treat the way you would want to be treated, plain and simple. Easy to say, hard to do sometimes.